7 Tips To Reduce Employee Theft

Business owners want to think that their employees are honest and loyal

They want to believe that their employees would never steal from them. But, that’s unfortunately not the case for many business owners.


Here is a scary piece of trivia for business owners with a retail store:

Did you know that 1 out of every 38 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2014. Source: http://hayesinternational.com/news/annual-retail-theft-survey/

In fact, the average cost of employee theft is $825.36

That is darn right scary! It’s because of issues like this that we’ve compiled a few tips on how to protect your business from employee theft:

1. Hire the right people to begin with.

Question: In your hiring process, do you customarily run a background screening and a drug test on all potential hires? People that take drugs need money to pay for their addiction habit. So, why tempt fate on not screening? History has a way of repeating itself in peoples lives.

Question: Do you really want someone to handle your money that has stolen before? A background check is a simple and easy way to know who you are hiring before you put your trust in them.

2. Use surveillance cameras. 

When you have signs showing that you are monitoring your business and storage rooms 24/7, it can act as a deterrent to tempted employees. Furthermore, if someone is brazen enough to steal from you, your video camera system will help to catch them afterward.

Bonus Tip: Use high definition cameras with facial recognition software so you can clearly identify your employees and what they are doing. Using high-definition video can clearly identify employees and transactions, as well as allow you to easily monitor employees remotely. 

3. Use 2 witnesses.

Since many thefts happen when an employee is alone, it make sense to have two employees work for both opening and closing to limit the odds of being tempted to (and able to) steal.

  • Always have refunds and voids witnessed by a manager or a second employee.
  • Avoid having close friends witness transactions for each other.

4. Check your garbage!

You might be surprised to hear that some employees steal merchandise by hiding it in the outgoing trash and then getting it later from the dumpster.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Only use clear, see-thru bags
  • Make it a policy to flatten or collapse all card board boxes
  • Lock all dumpsters

5. Flag excessive refunds or voids.

Did you know that your POS software can flag possible fraudulent transactions like excessive refunds or voids? Be especially wary of excessive refunds or voids outside of normal store hours. Get into the habit of reviewing your video daily and POS transactions several times a week.

6. Make it easy for employees to report theft.

  • Set up an email for employees to send in anonymous employee theft tips
  • Reward loyal employees that turn others in for actual theft
  • As a business owner, make these ideals part of your corporate culture

If a dishonest employee knows that all of their fellow co-workers are watching out for theft, they will definitely think twice before stealing.

7. Take the time to get to know your employees.

It is hard to steal from friends, so take the time to get to know your employees. Remember that a happy employee is a more honest employee. 

We hope these tips to reduce employee theft help your business.

If you would like a free quote on business property insurance then reach out to an insurancehub.com agent today.